Stewardship & Gratitude – From Timothy’s Desk to Yours
November 5, 2021
If you attended Re:Formation last month and were present for the panel discussion with Bishops Maas and Rinehart, you may have heard me offer my two cents worth of advice about stewardship this fall. I said something along the lines of, “whatever you do, say thank you, thank you, thank you.” I stand by that. Obviously, if you are making a broader stewardship push to think about it in a holistic and year-round sense there is so much more you can do and I would be grateful to walk with you in that discernment and work together. But at a minimum, please say thank you.
If you’re looking for ideas in the short-term, following Chick Lane’s three-part focus of “Ask, Thank, Tell,” will always steer you in the right direction. Ask or invite people to join you in some of the good work that God is up to. Thank people for sharing all that God entrusts them with, and for being part of God’s work in the world in all the ways they are. And tell the story of God’s love for you, God’s promises for you, and the stories about how God is active and at work in, for, through, and with you.
You might have also heard Bishop Rinehart’s thoughts about GSB and “Stewardship for All Seasons.” That is a program that is showing good results in many synods, and our synod is currently looking into offering a cohort or two through them in the coming year. More information may be coming about this as well.
All of that is important and helpful. But it’s not the purpose of this note. Today, I want to say thank you to you. Thank you dear church administrators, deacons, faith formation directors, parish ministry associates, pastors, teachers, and worship and music directors. I hope you heard and felt good words of gratitude last month during “Clergy Appreciation Month.” But regardless, please hear this from me- Thank you!
Thank you for all that you do which often goes largely unseen behind the scenes. Thank you for walking with your faith community always, but especially through the ups and downs and hard times of the past two years. Thank you for answering God’s call to serve, and for faithfully following God’s invitation to accompany God’s people. And thank you for all that you do to help God’s people know, remember, and see God’s love and promises for them and to grow as disciples and stewards of that love.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I give thanks for you, dear ministry leaders. I know it has been a hard time, but your efforts have not been in vain. Your faith, empathy, compassion, and grace with and for your people inspires me and give me hope. May you not only feel thanked, but may this Thanksgiving season and upcoming Advent and Christmas time be a time of pondering, wondering, renewal, and especially hope and joy.
In Christ’s peace,
p.s.- As always, if I, or if any of your partners on the synod staff can be helpful for you, please reach out. I would be grateful for the conversation, visit, and time to spend with you and your congregation in whatever way might make sense.
Deacon Timothy Siburg serves as the Director for Mission, Innovation, and Stewardship for the Nebraska Synod. He resides in Fontanelle with his wife, Rev. Allison Siburg (Salem Lutheran, Fontanelle) and their two daughters.